Tracht Gut Vet Zain Gut!

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Tracht Gut Vet Zain Gut!

Since the time of Freud, psychotherapy has focused on the negative aspects of the human psyche, on the irrational feelings and subconscious demons that drive us. Depression, neurosis, psychosis, charoses — all of them Jewish delicacies.

But recent developments in cognitive psychology, including a fascinating study done with insurance giant Metropolitan Life, reaffirm the importance of what we’ve always known: positivism and joy are key to making the most of our lives.

Using one of the most moving stories in the books of the Prophets as its core, this speech examines three areas of our lives where we must introduce a “Tracht gut vet zein gut” mentality: 1) our personal lives, 2) how we relate to our spouses, and 3) how we relate to our children.

It’s not about changing jobs, or changing houses, or changing spouses. It’s about realizing that no matter what direction the wind is blowing, you can sail in the direction you wish. The wind carries one ship east and another west, depending on how the captain set his sails.

From King David’s joyous response to his enemies taunts, to a Chabad philanthropist’s description of a shaliach in Massachusetts, and even the creators of Woody Woodpecker, we learn to rejoice over the blessings in our lives and to focus on the good in our spouses and children. A WWII story about a mysterious pack of letters drives home the point, and a new spin on the “Got Milk” campaign provides critical guidance on how to raise a healthy child.

In these times of global instability and financial crises, may the strong and confident sounds of the Shofar remind us of those five magic words, “Tracht gut vet zain gut”!

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